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ESPN BET Not Going Live In NY Or CT

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 2 mins

ESPN BET Not Going Live In NY Or CT

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Penn Entertainment created shockwaves across the online sports betting industry when it announced this summer a joint partnership with ESPN to rebrand its digital brand as ESPN BET, which is set to launch sometime in late November. 

The media mogul had long been expected to join the online sports betting space in some form, and it did so in a big way—the deal with Penn Entertainment is worth $2 billion.

We know that ESPN BET will launch in 15 different states where Penn Entertainment currently holds licenses (and had previously operated under Barstool Sportsbook. Those states include Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

That number is expected to grow in the coming months and years, both as Penn Entertainment and ESPN BET increase their thing and more U.S. states legalize online sports betting.

Why Won't ESPN BET Launch in NY Or CT?

There are two notable states where ESPN BET will not launch in the coming month—and both are notable in terms of when and where the worldwide leader in sports operates. Neither New York—the country’s largest online sports betting state—or Connecticut—where ESPN’s headquarters are located—are on the list of states where Penn Entertainment holds licenses.

Penn Entertainment originally applied for a license in New York in 2021—a year after Barstool Sportsbook launched—but did not receive one of the nine bids. 

All nine licenses are currently occupied, which muddies the water for a potential Penn bid, but there may be an opening given Wynn Resorts’ recent decision to leave the digital gaming space in certain states. New York was not one of those, but it remains to be seen what the future holds for WynnBET in the Empire State.

It could be much easier for Penn Entertainment to secure a license in Connecticut, which recently saw BetRivers exit the state. That leaves one of the three allowed licenses up for grabs—FanDuel and DraftKings hold the other two—and Penn CEO Jay Snowden has publicly stated that he’d like to see ESPN BET operate in the media leader’s home state. ESPN has been headquartered in Bristol since it began operations in 1979.

About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.